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TGF-β3 from fibroblasts promotes necrotising sialometaplasia by suppressing salivary gland cell proliferation and inducing squamous metaplasia.

Journal of Pathology 2024 April 10
Necrotising sialometaplasia (NSM) is a non-neoplastic lesion mainly arising in the minor salivary glands of the oral cavity. In the clinical features, NSM shows swelling with or without ulceration, and can mimic a malignant disease such as squamous cell carcinoma. Histopathologically, NSM usually shows the lobular architecture that is observed in the salivary glands. Additionally, acinar infarction and squamous metaplasia of salivary ducts and acini are observable. The aetiology of this lesion remains unknown, although it has a characteristic feature that sometimes requires clinical and histopathological differentiation from malignancy. In this study, we investigated upregulated genes in NSM compared with normal salivary glands, and focused on the TGF-β3 (TGFB3) gene. The results of the histopathological studies clarified that fibroblasts surrounding the lesion express TGF-β3. Moreover, in vitro studies using mouse salivary gland organoids revealed that TGF-β3 suppressed salivary gland cell proliferation and induced squamous metaplasia. We demonstrated a possible aetiology of NSM by concluding that increased TGF-β3 expression during wound healing or tissue regeneration played a critical role in cell proliferation and metaplasia. © 2024 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

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